It’s Friday and for a lot of folks, that means trying to use the upcoming weekend to catch up on sleep. It’s also near the end of National Sleep Awareness Week, which prompted the Indiana Psychological Association to offer some tips for better sleep, such as exercising regularly and avoiding near bedtime eating and alcohol consumption. Then maybe you won’t have to sleep in next Saturday.
For more information, they suggest our own Yelena Chernyak, Ph.D., at the Behavioral Sleep Medicine Clinic in the Department of Psychiatry at IU School of Medicine at email@example.com.
While we’re at it, on the pediatric side IU School of Medicine faculty are there to help at the Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health Sleep Disorders Center.
And for more (and continuing) information about sleep check out the first in a series of articles on the importance of adequate sleep, and how to get it, available at our insideIU newsletter.
Indianapolis can’t offer a nearby ocean, scenic bay or mountains, but new IU School of Medicine physician-scientist Ching-Pin Chang, M.D., Ph.D, says it’s offered something more important: the potential to expand his research horizons.
After 20 years at Stanford University, making important cardiovascular research discoveries and competing successfully for research grants, Dr. Chang joined the IU School of Medicine in the summer of 2013 as the new director of molecular and translational medicine at the Krannert Institute of Cardiology. Supported by resources from the Strategic Research Initiative and the Physician Scientist Initiative, he is applying his research discoveries in fetal heart development to adult heart disease and planning to move them into clinical trials.
The new Center for Innovation and Implementation Science at Indiana University School of Medicine came online late in 2013, created to bring new health care solutions to the bedside faster and cheaper. Director Malaz Boustani explains how that’s supposed to work.
Update: They’ve changed the name. It’s now the Center for Health Innovation and Implementation Science. CHIIS.
Mouse models of human disease are often key parts of biomedical research because they give scientists an opportunity to understand the origins and progression of a disease and begin testing potential therapies in ways that may not be possible with tests in cell cultures in the petri dish.
But often there is no appropriate mouse model — essentially a line of mice bred or manipulated to develop a human disease, or a close mouse counterpart. So researchers often will try to create the model they need.
That’s what Wade Clapp, M.D., and his IU School of Medicine colleagues did recently, getting some kudos from the Department of Defense in the process.
The disease is Neurofibromatosis type 2, which causes tumors — classified as low-grade, or slow-growing, malignancy — that primarily grow on the auditory nerve (but can appear on other nerves) resulting in hearing loss in teenagers or people in their 20s. The tumors can also cause balance problems, numbness and other problems depending on their location and size.
There had been mouse models of the disease but they didn’t develop the same sort of tumors as often seen in the human disease. So, with the assistance of a grant from the Department of Defense Neurofibromatosis Research Program, Dr. Clapp, who is chair of the IU Department of Pediatrics, and his colleagues have developed a mouse model that does develop the tumors and hearing loss that more closely resemble the human disease.
Dr. Clapp’s collaborators in the research were Su-Jung Park, Ph.D., assistant research professor of pediatrics, Charles Yates, M.D., assistant professor of clinical otolaryngology-head & neck surgery and M.D./Ph.D. student Jeff Gelhausen.
The mouse model should provide scientists with new tools to develop potential therapies for this rare but difficult disease that at the moment has no good treatment.
It will also add to the reputation of the Wells Center for Pediatric Research and IU Health Riley Hospital for Children as leaders in the research and treatment of neurofibromatosis, notably development of the first effective treatment for the tumors of neurofibromatosis type 1.
Traumatic brain injuries frequently leave patients with problems both understanding others’ — and their own — emotions and controlling their emotional expressions. Now the newly opened IU InterFACE Center at Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana combines advanced wireless technologies and innovative software with a living-room environment to help researchers and physicians get a better handle on what’s really going on when patients struggle with this issues. The center’s director, IU School of Medicine physician Dawn Neumann, and manager, Elena Gillespie, share some insights about the center in this video. As Elena says, think “Star Trek”:
“A sick person has no poker face,” says IU School of Medicine emergency department physician Jeffrey Kline in a fascinating TEDxIndianapolis talk.
“By using our instincts, physicians can determine whether or not there’s a threat to life,” and a health care system focused on forms and expensive tests needs to accommodate that, he says.
Back in June we announced the first year results of a clinical trial in which alefacept, a drug originally sold to treat psoriasis, showed significant promise in blocking the progression of type 1 diabetes among newly diagnosed patients.
Led by IUSM pediatrician Mark Rigby, the multi-center trial of 49 patients found that those receiving the drug were producing the same amount of insulin one year after diagnosis, while patients receiving a placebo injection were producing less, consistent with the deterioration that usually occurs after diagnosis with the disease.
The results were announced at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions, and now have been published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, accompanied by commentary by Kevan C Herold of Yale University who noted that “the evidence strongly supports clinical efficacy of this treatment strategy in the first year following diagnosis.” Unfortunately, as he also noted, the drug was withdrawn from the market by the manufacturer while the trial was under way. So its future as a potential clinical tool is unclear. See the BBC’s coverage here.
My colleagues Samantha (call her Sam) Thompson and Kris Karol have initiated a series of short video interviews of IUSM faculty members called #MedMinute, because they’re about a minute long and because these days, everything has to have a hashtag.
For starters, check out Anantha Shekhar, Matthew Johnson, Bruce Molitoris and Sarah Wiehe giving quick lay-language explanations of what they do and why they love doing it — with more to come. You can find them on our YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/IUSMCommunications) or our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/IUMedicine). And you will like them, right? We like it when you click “like.”
People diagnosed with mental illnesses smoke at very high rates, but why? The conventional wisdom has been that they are self-medicating. At IUSM’s Institute of Psychiatric Research Andy Chambers and his team looked into the issue using a rat model of schizophrenia. Their conclusion: It’s the mental illness making the brain more vulnerable to addiction that’s to blame, and physicians should be working to help those patients quit smoking.
Video? But of course:
Don’t forget, if you missed listening to the excellent IUSM-WFYI radio show, Sound Medicine, on Sunday, you’ve got another opportunity tonight 9 p.m. on 90.1 FM. This week’s show features some good discussion on the Affordable Care Act, including why it makes sense for “young invincibles” (sometimes also referred to as the “Bro’s) to buy health insurance. There’s also an explanation the new health insurance marketplace and a discussion of osteoporosis screening for women. And remember, the shows are also available for listening and download at the Sound Medicine web site, where you can also check out past segments, like this one on the importance of vaccinations for children. (It used to be obvious, but no more…)